By Bradley Elliott, MD of digital agency Platinum Seed In order to gain better control over stock flows and better serve their customers, retailers will need to turn to artificial intelligence (AI) to improve business efficiencies. According to UN statistics, a staggering 1.3 billion tons of fresh food is lost or wasted worldwide every year. This amounts to a third of all food produced for human consumption. In many cases, the food is still within the suggested “sell-by” and “best-by” dates and is thrown away by retailers under competitive pressure to keep shelves stocked and continuously offer the freshest or newest products. [caption id="attachment_2791" align="alignleft" width="169"] Bradley Elliott, MD of digital agency Platinum Seed[/caption] In addition, food wastage is directly linked to water, land, energy, capital, and labour waste. The amount of food wasted in the developed world amounts to the total amount of food produced in sub-Saharan Africa. Retail goods, even the most niche products, are becoming more and more commoditised and price parity means retailers continuously look for more innovative ways to keep customers loyal. Technology and machine learning, in particular, can step in to help retailers cater to the needs of their customers in smarter ways. A high-end jewellery retailer, a sporting goods store and a grocer all have very different target markets and their customer’s behaviour patterns are very different – but the beauty of machine learning, an emerging technology, is that it quickly adapts to any type of environment.